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Terrell Thomas on USC coaching hire

12/5/2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants cornerback Terrell Thomas is a proud USC alum and retains a strong interest in the goings-on with the football program at his alma mater. So when asked Wednesday what he thought of the school's hiring of Steve Sarkisian as its new head football coach, Thomas had a pretty thorough breakdown.

He approves of the hire of Sarkisian, who recruited him to play at USC in the early 2000s when Sarkisian was on the coaching staff there, though Thomas wishes the school had allowed interim coach Ed Orgeron to finish the season in the role. Orgeron resigned after learning he wasn't getting the full-time job.

"I love 'Shark,'" Thomas said after Giants' practice Wednesday. "I think he's a great choice. I actually think we're a little bit late hiring him, but I think he's going to be great. He's not just a coordinator. He's a guy who knows how to build a program, manage a program, all aspects of it. He's a head coach.

"At the same time, I don't really like how they did Coach 'O.' I think he should have been allowed to finish the season. You look at what he did, taking over in the middle of the season and getting the players to play. What happened there last year and early this year was about the coaching. Everybody thought it was the players, but it wasn't the players. It was [Lane] Kiffin. And Coach 'O' got them playing hard. I think they should have let him finish the season."

Thomas' impression was that the school thought it would lose Sarkisian to a potential NFL job if it didn't move to hire him now. He also named Boise State's Chris Petersen as a guy he thought deserved consideration for the job.

Though Thomas wishes Orgeron could have had a better exit, he understands why he wouldn't be considered for the job full-time.

"When you don't beat UCLA or Notre Dame, it's hard," Thomas said.